New American Vision® Solar PPA Gives You a 469 Percent ROI on Solar Power For Your Home Zero Down!

Think installing solar panels onto your home is an upfront cost out of your reach?

American Vision® Solar is helping homeowners across the country see solar energy in a new light, and learn that taking advantage of solar power is affordable, and provides an incredible return on investment. Thanks to the company’s new Power Purchase Agreement, anyone who qualifies can start saving on monthly utility bills immediately, with little to no money down.

American Vision is calling ‘Solar as service’, and it’s through the company’s new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where qualifying customers get the benefits of solar with virtually no investment and avoid the expense of purchasing a system outright. Customers can finance solar panel installation by simply paying a monthly payment – a monthly cost that is guaranteed to be LESS than a Southern California Edison bill without solar. Over a year period, this monthly savings can equate to more than $1,100 back in your pocket (on average).

In fact, over a period of 20 years, the solar panels boast a 469% rate of return on investment!

“Numbers don’t lie, and we’re thrilled to be able to make the up-front costs of solar panel installation more affordable to our customers,” says company President Al Alferi. “In this economy, every dollar counts, and with the immediate monthly savings our Power Purchase Agreement offers, homeowners can reap all of the cost benefits of solar power with no initial investment.”

American Vision prides itself on being on the leading edge in customer service, which is why the company didn’t rush into just any financing option for its customers in the past. “The new Power Purchase Agreement had to be in the very best interest of our customers,” added Alferi. “Other financing contracts out there include stipulations that we didn’t agree with. For example, under some contracts, major restrictions come into play should the homeowner wish to sell the home and transfer the system. We couldn’t in right mind suggest our customers get locked into an agreement like that. Now, we can stand proudly behind the new American Vision Power Purchase Agreement, and every bit of the fine print in back of it.”

Benefits to having ‘Solar as service’ run deeper than just cost savings. The American Vision PPA gives customers 20 years of maintenance free solar for their home.

Husband and wife team Bill and Kathleen Herren began providing homeowners with energy-efficient solutions with their window sales and installation company, American Vision Windows. Now, more than ten years and 30,000 satisfied customers later, the company has expanded its unmatched service to its other brands that will help revolutionize the home improvement industry: American Vision Solar and American Vision Garages.

American Vision Solar

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Infographic: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Power Storage. Why Electric Vehicles Matter!

BY TXCHNOLOGIST

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind only generate electricity when the wind blows or the sun is out and that isn’t always when customers need power. Batteries large enough to hold megawatts of electricity are prohibitively expensive but another potential source of battery storage is fast emerging: electric vehicles.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) storage allows the smart grid to use EVs (and even hybrids) as a distributed network of batteries that can store power at off-peak times and help power the grid when demand peaks. Here’s how it works:

1. Power is generated from a renewable source, like wind, and transferred to the grid.

2. Electricity flows from the grid to EV batteries when there is excess capacity (e.g. when the wind blows in predawn hours). The power flow is reversed when demand on the grid is higher.

3. Customers can control when the smart grid can access battery power from their EVs, which can put out enough power to run 10 houses, and even control how far the battery is discharged.

Top image: Paul Anderson via geograph

Overstock.com and Carbonfund.org Partner to Launch Carbon-Neutral Shipping Program for All Worldstock Products

Overstock.com, Inc announced carbon-neutral shipping for every purchase made from its Worldstock Fair Trade inventory, effective immediately. This sustainability effort establishes Overstock.com as one of the largest online retailers to take responsibility for the environmental impact of its product shipping program. Through a partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation, a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, Overstock.com will mitigate the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the trucks delivering items purchased from Worldstock Fair Trade by funding third-party validated carbon reduction projects like reforestation. This offer is free to the customer. Now, in time for Earth Day’s 41st anniversary, Worldstock Fair Trade purchases are supporting this important environmental initiative, as well as artisans around the globe. To learn more visit www.overstock.com/sustainability

“Overstock.com recognizes that we all have to take responsibility for preventing climate change, and as a major retailer its positive actions will have a huge impact,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Through this commitment, Overstock.com is leading by example by investing in a low-carbon future for everyone. We’re thrilled to partner with Overstock.com on this exciting program.”

Founded in 2001, Worldstock Fair Trade is Overstock.com’s socially responsible department for products handcrafted by artisans from developing nations and rural areas of the USA.  It carries handcrafted products from artisans in over 60 countries and between 60 and 70 percent of the cost is returned to the artisans. To date, Overstock.com has returned more than $60 million to Worldstock’s artisan suppliers.

“This carbon-neutral shipping program is in addition to other measures the company has taken to recognize consumer demand for environmentally sustainable business practices.  Other measures include ride sharing and corporate recycling programs,” said Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. “We recognize CO2 emissions are only one component of our operational impact, and we are working to reduce environmental impacts across our entire supply chain.”

SOLARLOK Automated Junction Box allows manufacturers of solar modules a much Shorter Assembly Time, better Reliability and Unique protection

Solarlok automated junction box

TE, formerly Tyco Electronics, presents new high-performance junction boxes

TE Connectivity (TE), formerly Tyco Electronics, is one of the leading connectivity system suppliers for photovoltaic installations.

Bottom line new junction boxes for solar panels are smarter, faster and better both in quality and performance.Solarlok automated junction box

The SOLARLOK automated junction box is suited for fully automated mass production, allowing manufacturers of crystalline solar modules a much shorter assembly time and therefore contributing to lower costs. Another advantage: increased reliability in the manufacturing process and finished panels with a consistently high quality.

In addition, the robot-capable, 4-rail junction box inspires confidence due to its novel housing design and its range of intelligent features. It has specially provided test points for the flash test, in which the performance of the solar module is tested. This test can be performed by robots using the automated junction box. Cumbersome connecting of the cables by hand is eliminated.Another advantage is the unique protection of the contacts : In the SOLARLOK automated junction box, the plug contacts are protected from dust and moisture throughout the process up to final assembly. In this way, the product offers the highest degree of mating safety – no other clamp-style automated box provides such complete connection protection.

The SOLARLOK automated junction box is available at: http://www.te.com/products/automated

Ireland emerging as a significant location for investors in the exciting and rapidly developing Clean Technology sector

Ireland stands to be a green living capital for the world!!

Outstanding natural resources, an advanced electricity grid and the presence of the world’s leading companies make Ireland the leading location for Green / Clean Technologies.

Heck, as shown below even Guiness is getting awards in Ireland for going green.

Guiness going green

Ireland is poised on the edge of Europe with some of the best wind and ocean resources in the world. These natural resources and Irelands unique human capital are being harnessed to deliver the country’s renewable energy targets, by 2020 Ireland will have:

Ireland wind power

  • ·         40% electricity from renewable sources
  • ·         500MW ocean energy
  • ·         10% electric vehicles

Integrating such a high proportion of renewable electricity while placing new demands (EV’s) into Irelands relatively small island electricity grid and maintaining stable reliable supply represents an enormous challenge and opportunity.

For over 40 years IDA Ireland has attracted leading global companies to Ireland in Life Sciences (Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices), ICT (Software & Hardware), Internet, Engineering and Financial Services.  IDA Ireland is now working with the key stakeholders, to harness the energy potential and business expertise across all business sectors and academia to develop a strong Clean Technology industry in Ireland.  The highly educated and motivated workforce that has been built up in other sectors will be a terrific asset for Ireland and companies located there as industries evolve out of the convergence of existing sectors and energy.

IDA spokesperson:  George Bennett, Manager, Cleantech Division, IDA

Examples of Expertise in Ireland

IBM

Smarter Cities

March 2010, saw the establishment of IBM’s first Smarter Cities Technologies Centre in Dublin, with an investment of up to € 66m over three years.  IBM will build a highly skilled and cross-disciplinary team to help cities around the world better understand, interconnect and manage their core communication, water and energy.

Researchers at the new Centre will investigate how advanced analytics and visualisation techniques coupled with solutions such as cloud, stream, and high performance computing, can help city authorities make optimal use of resources and so meet the challenges of our increasingly urbanised world,    Dr. Katherine Frase, Vice President, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business at IBM Research

Intel and IBM’s Smart Bay Initiative

IBM, Intel, a number of Irish SME’s and the Marine Institute are working on the Smart Bay project, which aims to link surface and underwater sensors and networks to enable environmental research, in the Galway Bay area, off the west coast of Ireland.  The Smart Bay initiative, aims to establish a greater understanding into marine ecosystems and date will be used for new oil and gas explorations, advance information on coastal flooding, storm surges and rising sea levels.

United Technologies Research Centre

United Technologies Corporation is the 17th largest manufacturer in the US and is a global provider of high technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace.    2010 saw UTRC establish a unique energy and security research centre in Ireland, a research Centre based on two main themes, energy and security systems.

UTRC Spokesperson:  Dr. Parekh, Vice President, United Technologies Research Centre.

Green International Financial Services Centre

The Green IFSC will be launched this March and aims to make Dublin’s IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) a hub for green businesses to set up shop in Ireland. The initiative aims to attract green businesses to Ireland, as well as companies that finance them and those involved in the carbon reduction area. With its low corporation tax rate, Ireland is well positioned to become a leading player in the global carbon market and the Green IFSC will identify Ireland as a centre of excellence in the management of carbon. Speaking in January 2010, a spokesperson for IFSC Banking and Treasury Group said the most ambitious view of the project would be to replicate the IFSC in a five-year time scale. This would signal the creation of about 25,000 new jobs, with companies operating in the green hub making tax contributions of circa €11bn annually.

Vattenfall and Wavebob Ltd

We are responding to the massive opportunity that Ireland has. Because the country has such a vast natural energy resource, and as the technology becomes proven, and the Government policy and supports take effect, Ireland really can be the ‘Texas of Europe’ exporting large quantities of green electricity.  

Harvey Appelbe, Project Director for Tonn Energy

In 2009, Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest electrical utilities, in recognising the urgent need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions selected Ireland for an exciting initiative to develop ocean wave energy into a viable, clean and valuable new energy source in Ireland’s renewable energy portfolio.

Tonn Energy, a joint venture between Vattenfall and Wavebob, an Irish wave farm development firm, has been formed to carry out this programme of work. In the long term this could position Ireland as a net exporter of green energy, utilising its massive natural ocean wave resource, and could hold significant benefits for the West of Ireland through subsequent investment and employment.

Enercon

ENERCON, one of the largest manufacturers of wind turbines in the world, established a technical services operation in Tralee, Co. Kerry, creating 30 new technical and management positions over the next 2 years.  This strategy is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

ENERCON, founded in 1984 in Aurich, Germany, is the world’s leading supplier of direct driven wind turbines with 330kW to 7.5MW rated power and produces its own rotor blades, generators, towers and other components for its turbines.

Examples of Irish Companies

ESB is Ireland’s dominant electricity utility and is one of the key players in the development and support of a range of new technologies and initiatives:

  • ·         Electric Vehicles –
  • ·         Smart Metering

NTR plc is one of Ireland’s most successful Cleantech companies and are growing rapidly. NTR builds and runs green energy and resource-sustaining businesses including Stirling Energy Systems who in conjunction with sister company Tessera Solar produces the sterling engine powered SunCatcher concentrating solar system. Another NTR portfolio company is Green Plains Renewable Energy which is a vertically integrated, low-cost ethanol producer and an emerging leader within the bio fuels industry.

Open Hydro – design and manufacture marine turbines for generating renewable energy from tidal streams. The first company to deploy a tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and the first company to connect to and generate electricity from tidal streams onto the UK National Grid and also the first to successfully demonstrate a method of safely and economically deploying turbines directly from the seabed. In April 2009, Open Hydro announced that it had secured a major contract to develop a tidal energy pilot project for the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) in Washington State, USA.  The company was awarded the 2009 company pioneer award at the Energy Ocean conference in Maine in the US.

Solarprint – an Irish company developing new ways of caturing solar energy to power everything from laptops to mobile phones.  Founded by Dr. Mazar Bari, who created semi-liquid solar cell material that is easy to work with and cheap to produce, creating solar panals that can be integrated into everyday household goods, drawing on sunlight to recharge batteries without the need for a power supply.

Relevant Research Centres

More impressive than the numbers and leading foreign companies with operations in Ireland is the collaborative ecosystem in which they work together with the SME’s and academic research institutes.

Information Technology Optimised Building Operation (ITOBO) is a Strategic Research Cluster funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The group has a number of industry partners including Cylon, Intel and HSG Zander.

The Electricity Research Centre (ERC) is industry-university research collaboration with research driven by the energy industry worldwide and a particular emphasis on the Irish electricity sector and the significant penetration of renewable (wind) onto the Irish grid. The ERC is primarily based in Electrical Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD).

International Energy Research Centre (IERC) was announced in April 2009 and is to be an industry lead research centre funding by the Irish Government. Collaborative research will be undertaken into integrated energy solutions defined by the member companies. Examples of the issues with integrated energy systems are, real time control of complex energy systems, stability of renewable-intense grid systems, advanced diagnostics and prognostics, man/machine interface to energy systems, understanding of market, technology and policy interactions.